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Israeli PM Says He 'Would Not Hesitate' to Attend Arab Regional Summit

  • VOA News

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says he "would not hesitate" to take part in a regional Arab summit, if he was invited.

Mr. Olmert said on Monday that he would look at an invitation to an Arab summit in "a positive way." He spoke after meeting in Jerusalem with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Mr. Ban said he urged Israeli officials to reconsider their rejection of the new Palestinian unity government. That government includes members of Hamas, which refuses to recognize Israel.

US.Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is also in the region for talks on the Israeli- Palestinian peace process. She met in Jordan on Monday with King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas before holding more talks with Israeli officials in Jerusalem.

Rice said she wants to expedite and facilitate dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians.

In separate talks with Mr. Abbas and Mr. Olmert Sunday, Rice urged the two sides to revive the peace process, and move toward the creation of a Palestinian state.

This is Rice's fourth trip to the Mideast in as many months, and her first since the Palestinians formed a new unity government earlier this month.

The new Palestinian coalition government combines Mr. Abbas's moderate Fatah movement and the Islamic militant group, Hamas, which controls parliament.
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